The Next Ride: Sunday 21 January 2018

12 January 2018

Hassocks to Lewes

We will catch the 10.44 train to Hassocks (buy return tickets to Hassocks) arriving just before 11am.

We head off through Ditchling to Keymer then turn left on Spatham Lane.

After a few yards we turn right   onto an offroad track (weather permitting) to Streat. A good easy surface for most of the way, there is a short section that some may choose to walk.

Arriving at Streat we turn left and head towards Wivelsfield on a small road that gently undulates.

We then take the Lewes road and head for Cooksbridge where we take a small road to Hamsey then Offham. Arriving there, we cycle the pavement of the busy A275 (the law having clarified that where it is dangerous to use the road, its ok to cycle on the pavement) before turning left into Lewes for a late lunch, probably at the Harveys pub by the river .

Trains to Brighton from Lewes: 22, 44 & 52 past the hour.

It would be good to have some idea of numbers so we can alert the pub. Please text Tessa on 07887 489900 or phone her on 01273 777574 to say if you  plan to join the ride.

Tessa & Sikka


The Last Ride. Sikka’s Report

12 January 2018

Sunday 7 January 2018: Cooden to Catsfield circular

Catsfield's other church
Catsfield’s other church

Present:   Jim, Wendy, Angela D, Tessa and Sikka.   On the long journey to Cooden Beach we changed trains at Eastbourne.    Attempting to leave our bikes locked on the platform we were warned we risked a £50 fine as police surveillance had already alerted the security staff of the potential threat they posed!   We moved them.

Out of Cooden Beach station we cycled northwards through quiet residential streets, eventually climbing our first hill up Peartree Lane. The discovery of hills on this route, having been absent from the outline for the ride and presumably not experienced on the previous, identical, excursion, it was concluded that climate change, with consequent continental drift, had caused tectonic plates to collide and raise the land around Cooden to new heights. Satisfied with this explanation we ploughed on.

We paused at High Woods carpark and noted signs for a quarry on the opposite side of the road.   On the way back we would pass on the other side of this quarry and see massive high towers of  building bricks.  Must be a brick-works??

Donkey silhouette

Skyline at the top of Potman’s Lane. Can you spot the donkey?

A delicious lunch at the White Hart in Catsfield was followed by an adventure in mud and water when the group opted to follow the longer, off-road route back to Cooden via Coombe Valley countryside park.     To recover from this ordeal, we took refuge in the Cooden Beach Hotel for a celebration of Tessa’s birthday with tea and scones and the singing of ‘happy birthday’.

The weather was cold but sunny with blue skies, a fine day to be on a bike.   The countryside was varied, lots of woods and fields and quiet lanes – and hills.

Altogether a delightful ride in good company.   Thank you Jim


Sunset sky at Cooden Beach

Sunset sky over Cooden Beach


The Brunch Ride – 2 January

12 January 2018

Clarion at Carats

L-R Anne, Mick, Coralie, Joyce, Leon, Wendy, Sue, Ian, Julia, Jim, Suzanne, Angela.

Reporter: Did you have a good start to the New Year?

Clarionette: It was great. We went to Carat’s café and had a good old chin-wag.

Reporter:  Who’s “we”.

Clarionette:  Well, there was Angela C and Angela D; Coralie, Fred and Ian; all the Js – Jim, John, Joyce and Julia with Leon, Mick, Roger Sue, Suzanne, not forgetting Wendy.

Reporter:  And what were your chins wagging about?

Clarionette:  The usual:  aches and pains; slipping gears and soggy saddles; Corbyn, Lucas and May; golf and grandchildren; holidays and housework; housing and homelessness. Everything really.

Reporter:  And a good ride there and back?

Clarionette:  Bracing might be the word.  A brisk south-west wind didn’t really slow us down after we’d set off from the Palace Pier on the way there and the tipping rain was more or less on our backs on the return journey.

Reporter:  And I suppose you all got there on your bikes?

Clarionette:  No comment.

Reporter:  Not even a hint?

Clarionette: State secret!

Reporter:  OK.  OK.  See you next year.



12 January 2018

10 January 2018

Dear All

Thanks to Sikka and Tessa we have a ride scheduled for 21 January. So,  any offers for 4 February?  Quite a lot to report this time.


There are teething problems with the new online membership system and so far there are a number of people who haven’t yet managed to renew their membership – only 23 have so far, so please check. Julian will be sending out a reminder once things have been sorted out

The 2018 AGM

We’ll have our AGM sometime in March (but see also below). In the last newsletter I wrote

If anyone, preferably someone living fairly centrally,would like to host the AGM please let me know.  We’ll try and sort out the best day of the week nearer the time.

I will wait until the end of this month before making a final decision. I’ve had no offers – but that was before Christmas when it’s difficult to think beyond the end of the year.  Obviously, it’s best if it doesn’t always take place at the same venue.  Roger and Suzanne hosted it last year. Sue and I are happy to take it on this time if no one else wants to.

STOP PRESS: Mick and Anne have kindly volunteered to host the AGM

The Easter Meet – Nominations and Motions

We have until 10 February to propose motions and make nominations for the national AGM at the Easter Meet. I propose to nominate Bob Harber for Standing Orders Secretary – a role he’s performed very effectively for several years now.  This is subject of course to his approval  – and  to no-one objecting.  I will wait until the end of this month before going ahead.

I have no motions to suggest but if anyone else has we can have a meeting before 10 February to debate this.  Let me know ASAP if you have any proposals to make. In the meantime, I’m attaching the motions being proposed by National Committee. We can decide our view of these at the AGM

Last year only Sue and I were at Chester to represent B&H Clarion. We may not be able to make it this year due to family commitments.  But I hope our section will be adequately represented.  Please read on!

The Easter Meet – Message from Alan Kiddle of London Clarion

Dear all,

I hope you had a great Christmas break?

It’s now just 85 days until Easter so please can I ask that you let your members know about the forthcoming Easter Meet? It’s the one weekend in the year when Clarion members from across the UK have been meeting up for over 100 years to socialise and cycle together.

London Clarion has been working hard to organise an Easter Weekend where there are lots for everyone to enjoy regardless of age or cycling ability. There is a pump track at Hadleigh Park which will be great for those bringing children as well as the Adventure Island amusement park and the longest pier in the World. For those who like Mountain Biking there will be the chance to try the 2012 Olympic course at Hadleigh Park. There will also be a 10-mile time trial on Easter Sunday.

To book accommodation at the Park Inn Hotel in Southend (which will be the HQ for the weekend) members just need to call the hotel Tel 01702455155 and mention National Clarion Easter Meet 2018.

The following special prices have been negotiated:

  • £60 Bed/Breakfast Twin / Double Room (per room per night)
  • £55 Bed/Breakfast Single Room (per room per night)
  • £90 family room including breakfast (per room per night)

It is a £10 Extra per room per night for a sea view.

Once you have booked your accommodation, don’t forget to buy your tickets for the weekend. Tickets are available for the whole weekend or either the Saturday or Sunday. Tickets need to be booked using Eventbrite

For more details about the Easter Weekend please visit the National Clarion website or visit the Events section of the National Clarion Facebook group

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Easter if not before!

Talk on Suzanne’s book

Brighton and Hove National Trust Association.

22 January 2018,  7.30pm at BHASVIC

“Sketches of Brighton 1827” by Suzanne Hinton.

In 1827 a French nobleman came to Brighton for the very first time. Suzanne relates some of his experiences and thoughts.

Hope I haven’t forgotten anything – let me know if I have and I’ll send it out as a supplement!



The Next Ride: Sunday 7th January 2018 – Cooden Beach to Catsfield and back

2 January 2018

This is a repeat of a ride we did in August 2015. We’ll set off from Cooden Beach station, and after skirting the Bexhill suburbs of Cooden and Little Common, we reach the delightful Peartree Lane, which very soon delivers us to High Woods. We lingered here (in the rain!) last time but the paths don’t really take us anywhere much so we’ll probably just nod in its direction this time.

We cross the A269 at Lunsford’s Cross, and then Potman’s Lane brings the only seriously steep hill, which is about 1 in 15 but is soon over.

Lunch will be at the White Hart at Catsfield, at 12:00, a pleasant little pub which was judged “spacious and warm” last time, and the food “good and reasonably priced”.

St Laurence’s Church (12th century) may once again tempt us in. This time, however, I will make sure we are all together before making the decision to stop there, to ensure that we don’t lose anyone!

On the way back we go through Henley’s Down, and then there is a possible off-road detour which is a little bumpy but at least gets us away from traffic. We can discuss whether to take it or not on the day; if this proves to be a “cat-herding” exercise, we can split up and then reconvene in Sidley.

Sidley is on the outskirts of Bexhill, so at this point we turn west and regain Peartree Lane and our outward route.

We return to Cooden Beach station after a total of only 14 miles; once again, if any of us want to go further, it will be possible to cycle back to Pevensey and Westham station, 6 miles further on (but not to Norman’s Bay, as trains don’t stop there on Sundays). The sun sets at 9 miutes past 4 and we should get to Cooden well before that. But bring lights – just in case!


Start at Cooden Beach station at 10:40. There are bike-friendly ramps to road level.

Distance: 14 or 20 miles

Terrain: Mostly quiet roads, some off-road possible. Some undulations.

Getting there: There are no direct trains from Brighton to Cooden on Sundays. I recommend getting the Ashford train from Brighton at 9:12 and changing at Eastbourne onto the 10:21 Ore train (this gives us half an hour for the change, and even a possibility of coffee).

Getting back: Trains leave Cooden Beach at 38 minutes past the hour, and Pevensey & Westham at 44 minutes past, changing at Eastbourne again.